PopHorror Interviews White Willow Actress Emily Lamberski

.From the moment I saw Emily Lamberski onscreen in Ryan Swantek’s White Willow, she commandeered my attention. The intensity and savagery she brought to her unnamed character was disturbing – in the best way. Even without dialogue, Emily was able to convey an air of practicality and efficiency to the role. PopHorror recently got the chance to talk with Emily to ask her about her journey so far in film, the filming of White Willow and where she’s going from here.

PopHorror: When did you first realize that you wanted to be an actress?

Emily Lamberski: I don’t think I wanted to be an actress per se. I wanted to audition and see the behind the scenes. I guess I wanted to experience the audition process. But after The Real Stephen Blatt, I had so much fun and thought, “Hey, why not keep doing this if opportunities are presented to me?” I love becoming a whole different person. It’s so interesting to try and understand their mindset. Although, I always saw myself as someone behind the camera if I was going to fully commit to film.

PopHorror: Sounds like you might be ready to try on some different shoes! Tell me about your first horror movie experience.

Emily Lamberski: The Alien films were my first. When I was going through my “all things black and gory” phase, my dad saw this as an opportunity to introduce me to the classics. Alien was first, then Nightmare on Elm Street, and so on. I remembered all the jokes about the Alien movies and stuff so I wasn’t very scared, but it still freaked me out because my horror weakness is space. It took me a while to fall asleep that night, too.

PopHorror: How did you hear about Ryan Swantek’s short White Willow?

Emily Lamberski: The crew from The Real Stephen Blatt were invited to a Q&A session with Andre Holland to talk about Moonlight. When Ryan and I were walking back to our cars, he asked if I was still interested in acting and offered me the role.

PopHorror: If only they could all be that easy (laughs). Tell me about the character you played in the short. What did you do to get into the mind of this character?

Emily Lamberski: In the beginning, I wasn’t really sure how to approach her character because there were still some answers that were needed – how religious was she and what was the effect of it on her, was she suffering from depression, where was her mindset, what kind of hatred is this, stuff like that. So I kind of came up with some of my own vague answers and Ryan helped fill in the blanks as well. Actually, I went back to my middle school days in my head and put myself back into the beginning of my depression when it was really bad, which helped me define the character. I was actually scared because it took me years to accept and work with my depression; I was worried that if I went back to wallowing in it then it would be harder to get out.

PopHorror: I certainly hope that wasn’t the case… You’re the only person in front of the camera in White Willow. Was it weird being the sole actor?

Emily Lamberski: Very weird. When I work with others in any project, I tell jokes – mainly bad puns – and talk to people to get comfortable. I’m a very talkative person, so having no one to talk to really or hear my Game of Thrones theories was not something I’m used to.

PopHorror: See now, Game of Thrones theories is something I can totally get behind. What was wearing the FX makeup like?

Emily Lamberski: It felt like I had food on my face. It was really cool to look at and watch the process though. I actually kept peeling of the scars on my arm because it was like peeling glue off your fingers, something I did a lot in school. I was constantly apologizing to Jess.

PopHorror: It seems as though you have a lot in common with the cast and crew from White Willow. What was it like filming the short?

Emily Lamberski: It was fun! I love working with them so it made working on the short a lot easier and more comfortable. It took all day to film. We were all tired at the end, but when we finished we were all like, “Wow, I can’t believe we just did that!”

PopHorror: What do you do to get the creative juices flowing?

Emily Lamberski: They never stop. Running helps a lot for me if I hit a road block, but even when I’m asleep, I get up in the middle of the night to write something down or draw a thumbnail.

PopHorror: Who inspires you?

Emily Lamberski: Oh wow, um…. Well, I always go to Walt Disney for anything: quotes, ideas, comparisons, challenges, etc. Mary Blair is one as well. I have recently discovered Edward Gorey, so he’s a new addition to the family.

PopHorror: If you could work with anyone in the business, alive or dead, who would it be and why?

Emily Lamberski: I’m always the loser that never has an answer for this question. Honestly, I’d love to work with anyone from the business because they all have something to offer. I guess in the film/animation business, I’d love to work with John Lasseter because I really want his job. But yeah, I’m open to everyone because I have a lot to learn. I’m still a wee baby. (laughs)

PopHorror: What’s your favorite horror movie?

Emily Lamberski: The Shining, mainly because the twins look a lot like me.

PopHorror: Do you have any projects coming up that you can talk about?

Emily Lamberski: No projects lately, so I’m open for one!

PopHorror: What really scares you?

Emily Lamberski: Failure….space….cockroaches….and myself occasionally.

PopHorror: Last but not least, what’s your favorite Halloween candy?

Emily Lamberski: Candied apples! Does that count? If not, then KitKats.

PopHorror: Thanks so much for talking with us, Emily! And, of course candy apples count!


Stay tuned to PopHorror for updates and news on Emily Lamberski. We’re very excited to see more projects from her!

About Tracy Allen

As the co-owner and Editor-in-Chief of PopHorror.com, Tracy has learned a lot about independent horror films and the people who love them. Now an approved critic for Rotten Tomatoes, she hopes the masses will follow her reviews back to PopHorror and learn more about the creativity and uniqueness of indie horror movies.

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